July 08, 2015 10:29:41 UK
Melbourne City have handed keeper Tando Velaphi a new two-year deal ahead of the 2015-16 season.
Velaphi displaced Andrew Redmayne as City’s first-choice stopper last season and finished the campaign with a league-high nine clean sheets from 19 appearances.
He is a quality player and a great character around the group.
John van ‘t Schip
His place as coach John van ‘t Schip’s No.1 was already firmly established before City allowed Redmayne to join Western Sydney last month.
Now the 28-year-old, who helped the club make just their second finals appearance last season, has secured his future with the contract extension.
Since joining City, who are 9.00 to win the Grand Final, he has been on two successive one-year deals.
“Tando was a vital contributor for us last season and his record was a reflection of his hard work and positive attitude,” said van ‘t Schip.
“He is a quality player and a great character around the group and we are glad to have him with us heading into next season and beyond.”
Velaphi spent four years with Perth Glory, playing 74 games, and joined City after a two-year spell as Melbourne Victory’s back-up to Nathan Coe.
He said: “It’s a great feeling to be back in pre-season with all the boys and we’re working hard to build on what we were able to achieve last season.
“I’ll be doing everything I can to get the best out of myself and help the team to be successful this season.”
City have bolstered their squad during pre-season by signing Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic, who had been a free agent since his release by Torpedo Moscow, as well as former Western Sydney forward Steve Kuzmanovski and ex-Sydney FC striker Corey Gameiro.
Melbourne City are 2.90 to win their opening game of the season against Sydney FC, who are 2.20 with the draw 3.40.
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